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tetany

[tet-n-ee] /ˈtɛt n i/
noun, Pathology
1.
a state marked by severe, intermittent tonic contractions and muscular pain, due to abnormal calcium metabolism.
Origin
1880-1885
1880-85; < Neo-Latin tetania. See tetanus, -y3
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for tetany
  • Spasms of the hands or feet may be an important early sign of tetany, a potentially life-threatening condition.
British Dictionary definitions for tetany

tetany

/ˈtɛtənɪ/
noun
1.
(pathol) an abnormal increase in the excitability of nerves and muscles resulting in spasms of the arms and legs, caused by a deficiency of parathyroid secretion
Word Origin
C19: from French tétanie. See tetanus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tetany
n.

1890, from French tétanie "intermitent tetanus," from Modern Latin tetania (see tetanus).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tetany in Medicine

tetany tet·a·ny (tět'n-ē)
n.
An abnormal condition characterized by periodic painful muscular spasms and tremors, caused by faulty calcium metabolism and associated with diminished function of the parathyroid glands. Also called intermittent cramp, intermittent tetanus.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for tetany

condition characterized by rhythmic cramping of the muscles of the hands and feet, muscle twitching, and possible spasms of the larynx, with difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, convulsions, and pain. Tetany results from a metabolic imbalance; it may be caused by too little calcium, potassium, or magnesium in the circulation or by an over-acid or over-alkaline condition of the body. It may accompany poorly controlled hypoparathyroidism, hypophosphatemia, osteomalacia, renal disorders, or malabsorption syndromes. Treatment is directed at restoring metabolic balance, as by intravenous administration of calcium in cases of hypocalcemia (calcium deficiency).

Learn more about tetany with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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